Will The Real Chris Jones Please Stand Up? Or Maybe Just Shut Up?

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About Eli Kaplan

Eli Kaplan is a modern renaissance man, honing his skills as an indie-rock musician, writer, mentor, and the “He” in She Said He Said, (a sex and dating advice blog). Eli also happens to be a food lover, a fitness fanatic, and a sports enthusiast (Go Detroit!).


  1. Anthony Zarat says:

    “To complain about women being too guarded in the bedroom, without addressing this societal pressure and gender expectation inequalities (at least, in passing) is very short-sighted.”

    I am waiting for the first feminist in history to say:

    “To complain about men being too reserved as fathers, without addressing this societal pressure and gender expectation inequalities (at least, in passing) is very short sighted.”

    Women are not delicate pots of china that need to be protected. Most women are as selfish and utilitarian in bed as they are in the rest of their lives. Treating intimacy as a sales transaction (be it in kind or in cash) is a boorish and obnoxious attitude that no man should have to tolerate. Bravo for a man who has the courage to say so.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      What!? Anthony. First: Are you saying that women are selfish in both bed and in real life? Sometimes I’m amazed at how you don’t want anyone talking bad about men as a whole but you don’t mind absolutely shitting on women. You want gender equality? Then treat men and women equally.

      Second, would you be cool with an article like this, but about men? Would you be cool if a woman wrote, “Guys, You’re Not As Great As You Think”?

      Just curious.

      • Anthony Zarat says:

        Actually, I regretted my post the minute I pushed “send”. Not because I feel sorry for women, but because of a recent exchange with another moderator, who is afraid to talk to MRAs because we are so angry.

        What makes me angry (and many other MRAs) is the attitude that women deserve special protection, and men do not.

        I think any article that approaches this topic in a positive way is a good thing, and this article was not 100% positive, so it was flawed.

        However, this article is very much like 100s of articles in the news criticizing men as partners, lovers, parents, and people.

        Nobody cares then, so I want to demonstrate how strongly I don’t care now. Not the best attitude, so I am sorry.

        • >Not because I feel sorry for women, but because of a recent exchange with another moderator, who is afraid to talk to MRAs because we are so angry.

          Poke. Poke. Shove. Slap. Punch.

          Stop doing that!

          Waaaaaah, why are you soooooo angry?

          Seriously, if the OP considers the linked article to be horrible misogyny, how are people who are sensitive to misandry supposed to feel about the never ending torrent of articles about how men _as a group and to a man_ fail to serve women sexually and fulfill women’s sexual expectations?

          I’m perfectly fine, as a woman, being told that my sexual actions matter. Even if it means being told that I can be bad at sex. That’s part of developing as an _autonomous human being defined more by her actions then her passive attributes_.

          In fact I see the title as an explicit reference to women’s agency: if a woman can take action to be bad or to be good in bed, then her partner’s sexual enjoyment is not entirely predicated on her physical attributes.

          Ah! What a refreshing message!

        • Are you referring to me? Not afraid. Didn’t I use an emoticon????? ;(

          • Anthony Zarat says:

            I have not been clear. I am not saying that you are fragile. I am saying that the bridge building process is fragile. I have everything to gain from bridge building. I don’t want to sabotage my own mission. It is not a gender thing.

            TGMP has been encouragingly critical of mainstream “masculinity denigration.” I appreciate this effort by TGMP staff (including moderators). Therefore, I regret “throwing stink bombs” in this venue. Not because you are a woman, but because you are part of a team that is looking for solutions, and I don’t want to make your job more difficult. Talking is part of that solution, and nobody is going to talk (or listen) if they get a knuckle sandwich every time they speak. The key phrase is “afraid to talk to MRAs because we are so angry.”

            In other venues, throwing stink bombs is the only weapon we MRAs have. Denigrating men has become the #1 national sport in America. How are we to bring attention to the terrble consequences that the relentless assault on masculinity is having on men and boys?

      • After reading the article – it is clear that this author and I did not read the same article. The criticisms leveled at the post mentioned are more correctly aimed at this post/rant.

        Chris Jones (CJ) is merely saying that there is room for improvement on both sides of the bed as it were. Men are constantly told they are not as great as they think they are – most often by the same women screaming even a hint of criticism. Even the title of this piece conveys the message that men are not as smart as they think; nor are they deserving of respect and simple common courtesy. Shut Up – is just rude and disrespectful language. The use of that language denies CJ the right to have an opinion or express an opinion without be silenced; because it does not matter.

        How is it equality if the sexes can’t even express an idea or make a statement that is not adoring and fawning? Equality is about respect – respect each other enough as human beings to given each other the benefit of the doubt and the right to say no or express a differing opinion without being disrespected or dehumanized.

        As a woman I am truly tired of strident feminists being so hypersensitive to any comment that is not 100% positive. My message to those “delicate flowers” – Not every comment is about you. The world does not revolve around you nor should it.

        CJ made the observation that his experience is that some women overestimate the level of enjoyability and pleasure from intimate encounters and their skill at creating a positive experience and think that the mere act of them showing up and being present is enough; and suggest women consider that perhaps it might be worthwhile for those women to verifying those previously mentioned beliefs with a bit of self reflection and introspection. Or at least ask themselves if what he says has any truth? If not nothing to see here; if yes then he advises them to relax.

        Fact is each person in an intimate encounter is responsible for their own pleasure and for sharing the pleasure with their partner.

  2. Moderator’s note: this comment has had a portion deleted because it violated our commenting policy.

    Anyway, I really dont think that article was that bad. Especially considering the deluge of articles on the oh so fresh topic of “why men suck” in periodicals far more mainstream than Maxim. Does the guy sound a tad bitter? Maybe. So what? As I mentioned before, women feel more than free to blast their dissatisfactions with the male sex across the internet far and wide, I don’t see why men can’t occasionally return the favor.

    Everybody needs a little ego puncture now and again.

  3. “Not only does it read as mostly a blame piece, and a condescending warning to women to get their acts together, or no one’s ever gonna enjoy having sex with you… it is also socially irresponsible.”

    So, in essence, a gender flipped version of every article on ‘sex tips for men’ that has appeared on Good Men Project?

    How droll.

  4. Wow, so this guy has committed the unpardonable sin of saying that there are women who suck in bed. By comparison men are told constantly that one of their most prominent features as male-beings is that they, as a collective, as in every single male on this planet, are insufficient just as they are to provide women sexual pleasure.

    So we have one writer with the audacity to point out it’s possible for the female gender to suck in bed compared to an unending litany about how the male gender _as a whole_ sucks in bed.

    BTW, the fact that you found this objectionable when it amounted to the mildest rebuke says volumes… about you.

    • I’ve decided to unpack this.

      The idea that women can suck in bed is objectionable to the esteemed OP. Obviously in the OP’s world no woman is capable of sucking in bed.

      This is obviously because the female body, itself, is the most finely tuned instrument of sexual pleasure ever invented and no woman anywhere need be judged by her actual actions.

      So a woman’s body makes a woman a good lover and her actions are irrelevant. So a woman is simply an inert sexual object, not an active sexual being.

      Is this not objectification?

      “Women and men are not equal beings when it comes to sexual liberation.”

      I can name a number of things that men face in terms of sexual judgement that women do not.

      1) Dick shaming(duh).
      2) Performance shaming.
      3) Virgin shaming.
      4) Creep shaming.
      5) Cad shaming.
      6) Shy shaming.

      It’s also a fantasy that ‘experienced’ men are laudable. Most people consider them repulsive and that includes women. The reason why we think there’s a ‘stud/slut’ dichotomy–when there isn’t–is because we think a man is benefited somehow by women’s approval–I mean, women’s sex. If we recognized that sex is a mutually beneficial exercise and that women benefit _every bit as much_ by having sex, then the slut/stud dichotomy would disappear. Not that there really is one, it’s more of a sexual patsy/sexual con artist dichotomy, with men being the con artists and women being their patsies. Society hates con artists but it also thinks they have some skill and, of course, that they benefit from their interaction with their patsies. Whereas patsies get sympathy but also are seen as stupid and degraded by having been conned.

      • Joanna Schroeder says:

        Typhon, you’re taking an extraordinary number of liberties with Eli’s original post. Wow. So many, in fact that I really have no interest in point them all out.

        But I will say this: Nowhere did he say that women can’t be bad in bed.

        He’s saying to the writer, “contextualize, dude”. And guess what? If we were to critique the sex habits of men, we’d do our best to contextualize. We would never say, “guys, here’s how you suck” EVER. If you can find me a single place we’ve said this on GMP I will apologize, but as far as I’ve read, we would never say, “Guys, you’re not as great as you think.” Not on http://www.shesaidhesaid.me or on GMP. And I resent the implication that we would. Sure Cosmo might… But not us.

        Second, You don’t think women face parallel shaming to everything you listed above?

        1. Dick Shaming = vulva shaming (research vaginal rejuvenation surgery for cosmetic reasons)
        2. Perfromance Shaming = See Esquire
        3. Virgin Shaming = REALLY? Virgin/Whore dichotomy. We’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t.
        4. Creep Shaming = Slut shaming.
        5. Cad shaming = “Woo Girls” or “The Cheerleader Phenomenon” (even though I’ve never heard “cad shaming” before)
        6. Shy Shaming = Mousy girls, nerdy girls, librarians, I don’t know, whatever…

        The point is, this society is hung up on sex. Our society has one exact way you need to be, and the outliers are shamed. Here, Chris Jones shamed women. We lie there too much, we think we’re so great, smash and grind (wtf is that?), whatever. If I wrote an article called “Guys, You’re Not As Great As You Think You Are” I would HOPE someone would step up and say, “Joanna, shut the hell up!”

        • “He’s saying to the writer, “contextualize, dude”.”

          The linked article does not, not once, say that he’s referring to all women. He even goes so far, in the first paragraph, to describe how he’s terrible in bed too.

          However I have read countless articles that referred to _all men_ being bad in bed. In fact there is a highly prevalent attitude that women as a group are sexually underserved by men as a group.

          Here you go for a universally negative appraisal of one aspect of men’s sexual performance published right here:


          It’s less direct, more meandering, but it’s conclusion is even more ‘uncontextualized’ and universal then the linked article. ‘Men as a group suck at kissing because men’s sexual priorities are not the same as women’s thus wrong.’

          “Second, You don’t think women face parallel shaming to everything you listed above?”

          I am NOT the one who started out suggesting that one gender experiences a greater rate of sexual stigma then the other.

          I am responding to Eli’s ‘contextualizing’ the linked article by saying that women are horribly slut shamed and men live in some sort of sexual utopia in which their every sexual action is celebrated by angelic choirs.

          Further Eli’s contextualization amounts to ‘women bigger victims, yo’ which I find not only reductionist but misogynist.

          ” If I wrote an article called “Guys, You’re Not As Great As You Think You Are” I would HOPE someone would step up and say, “Joanna, shut the hell up!””

          My point is that guys get told this every day. Either we’re okay with one or neither.

          • Joanna Schroeder says:

            So rather than diminish someone else’s point by saying “but the guys have it bad, too!” why don’t you do something about it and write a piece about how many articles shame men, sexually.

            Contextualizing does not mean the same thing as pandering or excusing. It merely means, “listen, here’s what has traditionally happened in our society”… I would do the exact same thing if I were talking about men.

            • “So rather than diminish someone else’s point by saying “but the guys have it bad, too!” why don’t you do something about it and write a piece about how many articles shame men, sexually.”

              Maybe I will.

              Currently I’m working on a piece regarding male suicide in light of the recent spat of suicidal ideation in the mens’ rights movement as a result of the SPLC’s publication(and one confirmed completed suicide). Plus a bunch of other stuff that is likely boring.

              Until such time as I have time, I’ll stick to correcting misinformation in the comments. If Eli is going to say things like ‘women are bigger victims, yo’, then I’m going to be right there saying ‘um, no.’

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              Holy heavens is this an extrapolation.

              I’m out!

            • Okay, alright.

              Apparently I misread this:

              “Women and men are not equal beings when it comes to sexual liberation. In a perfect world they would be equals, of course. Unfortunately, we live in a society that applauds men for their sexual conquests, and shames women for the same type of behaviour.”

              As meaning that women are more impacted by our society of sexual shaming then men. As meaning ‘women are the biggest victims, yo.’

  5. The author follows a regular path: if I am less than good in bed, and only a cad would point this out even if true – by the way, then those bad bits are a consequence of my oppression.

    Chris concludes with” “The bottom line is that if your sex life is bad, you bear at least some of the blame — maybe even an entire half of it.”

    Seems fair minded..

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      I totally agree with your last sentiment.

      But the tone of the article was incredibly smug. He could’ve written something that was empowering, that did offer agency to women (which is what I would’ve done) and that would’ve been more in line with that last line you quoted. But read the rest of it. That’s not even remotely what he did.

      • Pointing out women’s agency is pointing out women’s agency. Tone is irrelevant to the positive affect. In fact it may improve the positive effect by challenging women to do better.

        What is vastly more sinister misogyny is removing women’s agency in the guise of flattery.

        ‘Women can do no wrong!’

        Well, that means they can’t do anything right either.

      • “He could’ve written something that was empowering, that did offer agency to women”

        “Offer” agency? Agency is something a woman must be given? In this day and age?

        I may be misreading your statement, but I’ve come across female writers of m/m slash and erotica who insist that they choose to write m/m because it’s the only way they can explore sexual agency–through male characters. As if it is impossible for them to explore sexual agency through female characters, which is just the hugest cop-out.

        Agency in something as private as the bedroom isn’t something you’re granted by society or a partner or cultural forces. It’s a choice you make, and women have ALL the wherewithal they need in the here and now to make that choice.

        The linked article is telling women that their sex lives are their responsibility, and that it’s not a man’s job to carry the entire thing. How is an article that says, “Ladies, you are supposed to be participants, not clients,” a bad thing? And frankly, from what I’ve heard from a lot of men, it’s a message that needs to be applied with a metaphorical sledgehammer.

        • HeatherN says:

          Personally, most of my issue with the article isn’t in what he’s saying but rather how he’s saying it. It’s all well and good to tell women to take control of their sex lives, but the article does it with a bit too much snark and a blindness to the problematic ways society discusses and conceives of sex.

          It’d be a bit like me writing a sarcastic article about men receiving anal intercourse and completely ignoring how our society stigmatizes it.

          • The ‘tone argument’ is a method of retreating into victim-consciousness, IMHO.

            Take what is useful, discard the rest. That’s having agency.

            “It’d be a bit like me writing a sarcastic article about men receiving anal intercourse and completely ignoring how our society stigmatizes it.”

            Sometimes snark is warranted. When it’s directed at stupid dynamics that people buy into. Plus it has the added benefit of drawing attention to stupid dynamics in a way that a measured tone does not.

            • HeatherN says:

              “The ‘tone argument’ is a method of retreating into victim-consciousness, IMHO. Take what is useful, discard the rest. That’s having agency.”

              Um no…nowhere in any of this am I suggesting that women with bad sex lives are somehow victims. It’s not about victimizing someone, it’s about empathizing and sympathizing with them. I think, you tend to see people as being much more able to break away from their cultures than I do. And MichelleG, on the other hand, tends to view people as being perpetually stuck in their cultures (not to put words in her mouth, but that’s what I’ve noticed from her comments).

              I take a much more middle of the road view of culture and agency. I think culture influences us, and it helps create and inform our choices, and sometimes it can be difficult to see how it influences us and so we end up following along cultural norms without realizing it. So although, yes, I think snark is sometimes useful…I think it’s important to direct that snark at the social dynamic itself, not at the people who perpetuate it. Again, not because I see those people as being victims…but because I know that when someone feels like they’re being personally attacked, they aren’t usually very open to a dialogue. Also, there is an element of subconsciousness to following cultural norms, and I generally dislike using a tone of laying blame on people who might not be aware at how they’re perpetuating cultural norms.

              So yeah, like I said, more middle of the road. Yes call it out…but maybe be a bit more sympathetic when doing so.

  6. HeatherN says:

    I’m totally with you, Eli, except for this bit here:

    “Women and men are not equal beings when it comes to sexual liberation. In a perfect world they would be equals, of course.”

    Actually, I’m in complete agreement with that statement too…it’s the underlying implication that women are fighting to be equal to men with regards to sexual liberation (and not the other way around) that I disagree with. Sort of. Like with pretty much everything with regards to gender equality, I think there are ways in which men are privileged (as you say about being able to have many sexual partners)…but there are also a few ways in which men are screwed over with regards to sex. Specifically with regards to sexual experimentation, men totally get the shaft (or rather, they don’t get the shaft. lol). It is acceptable for men to be promiscuous, so long as they’re only having sex with women, and so long as they aren’t being penetrated by that woman.

    Which, again I’m pretty much in agreement with your article here…I just think that often when we discuss sexual liberation and slut-shaming, there is an implication that men aren’t condemned for their sexual behavior, which isn’t exactly true. They’re just condemned for different things.

  7. Based on the title of the original article, I think there’s a misconception out there that women don’t have performance anxiety–that it’s only something that men have to worry about. When it comes to initial encounters, there can be a lot of that anxiety. The prep work (waxing, waterproof makeup, deep cleaning, letting go of body image issues) . Then there’s wondering whether you’re being too loud/too quiet and giving just the right amount of feedback. Knowing and being comfortable with the positions and angles that make your man happy. Making sure you don’t suck at blow jobs (pun intented). Will he be mad or feel inadequate if I don’t orgasm? How can I tell what parts he enjoys/doesn’t enjoy me touching before he tells me? How do I react if he comes too quickly? What if he lasts so long that I start to hurt or get tired?

    Do men really think that women don’t worry about this stuff? It’s best for your sex life to throw caution to the wind, but it’s naive to think that most women don’t think about this kind of thing when entering into a sexual encounter or relationship. Obviously, these worries go away in a good sexual relationship with communication, but it’s not like all women think they just have to lie there and look pretty.

    • Aya, there is no widespread attitude that women’s bodies are incapable of giving men sufficient sexual pleasure _just as they are_.

      Or, at least, there is a significant difference in emphasis on sexual agency.

      No one thinks that a woman will get any pleasure from a man lying there and supplying only an erection. He has to take action because his body is not sufficient to secure her sexual pleasure.*

      Whereas it’s a nigh-universal ‘truth’ that a man still gets sufficient (if not superior) sexual pleasure from a woman just lying there, taking no actions. Access to her body should be at least sufficient for him. There are lots of shaming tactics that enforce this view upon men: homophobia, potency-based insults being the big ones. If he doesn’t have an orgasm because his partner is too passive, there’s something wrong with his heterosexual identity or his sexual potency not her passivity.

      I’ve known male friends who say that the number of women who actively sought out giving pleasure generally topped out at about 5% of their partners. The rest figured doing the work was ‘his job’. This is not positive for the women either; it bespeaks of a general tendency in our society to de-emphasize women’s action taking as ‘not impactful.’

      * Challenging this myth in my own life was an interesting experience for me. I decided to ‘use’ my husband’s body to give myself an orgasm (with his consent of course) instead of expecting to passively receive pleasure from his sexual actions. The key concept here is ‘using his passive body’ as I requested he take no actions. I found my discovery that a man’s passive body(+my sexual actions) *is* sufficient for me to orgasm quite liberating, as point of fact, like I was suddenly the captain of my sex life instead of, you know, the boat.

  8. PursuitAce says:

    As someone who has had only one sexual partner, I have to ask what is for me an obvious question. How is it that women are good (or bad) in bed. The only reference I hear from guys is that a woman who is more open to experiment is good versus less open is bad. Any other points that women can make?

  9. And here is a comparison using a current blog post by Ali Yashar where he asks men not to burden women with their weak emotional performances. “Man” up under the emotional sheets!


    Head nodding in the commentary as well as the obligatory mentions of societal constraints.

    One distinction between the two is the using of ridicule and sarcasm on something of high value – women’s sexuality – akin to tearing up an image of the Pope on national TV – and the critiquing of something of low value – men’s emotional sexiness.

    The interesting thing to me is why one critique seems much more palatable than the other, and I’m not referring to distaste due to the tone.


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